Ambleside: Wray Castle


Located at Claife Wray is Wray Castle, the former home built for the retired Liverpool surgeon James Dawson. The elaborate house was designed and built by the 19th century accountant John Jackson Lightfoot. With an interest in architecture, Wray Castle is the only building he designed and following his death in 1843, another architect (thought likely to be H.P.Horner) completed the building. Built between 1840-1847, the building is constructed of slate with ashlar dressings and features embattled parapets, towers and turrets.


The octagonal entrance hall has encaustic tiles and segmental pointed heads to doorways which lead to an imperial staircase.


Wray Castle became a private residential college for Merchant Navy Radio Officers in 1958 with all of the rooms renamed to reflect the Merchant Navy life. The gallery landing was known as the Boat Deck with rooms on the ground floor used for teaching.


The building features a first floor gallery with panelled detailing and is Grade II* Listed.

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